If you’re looking for a top hybrid smartwatch, blending fitness tracking into a good old fashioned analogue timepiece, there are plenty to choose from.
A hybrid smartwatch blurs traditional watch designs with contemporary fitness tracking and notification tech. You won’t see full touchscreen displays like you get on Wear watches, Fitbit’s smartwatches or the Apple Watch, and you certainly won’t have to deal with just couple of days of battery life, that’s for sure. Those smarts are added in more discreet and elegant ways, and they have long, long lasting battery life.
Essential reading: Best Wear OS smartwatch to buy
Whether you’re style obsessed or want something that’s good at tracking your steps without hammering the battery, here’s our pick of the top smart analogue watches to get around your wrist.
Got any questions about hybrid smartwatches or any of our picks? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Best hybrid smartwatch
Garmin Vivomove HR
Long live the king. The Vivomove HR came out way back in 2017, but it still hasn’t budged from the top spot – and for good reason. It’s got the perfect marriage of design and smarts, and it’s our choice for best hybrid smartwatch you can get right now.
Successor to the Garmin Vivomove, the award-winning Vivomove HR offers a watch designed for both men and women, adding a discreet display that only appears when you tap on the watch face. It’s also waterproof up to 50 metres (like its predecessor), so you can take it for a dip too.
On that nicely disguised display, you’ll be able to see activity tracking data, check in on heart rate readings, view notifications and even check in on your stress levels. It’s essentially the Garmin Vivosport fitness tracker in a much sleeker and stylish body, minus the built-in GPS.
Battery life is two weeks in watch mode and five days when you’re taking full advantage of the smartwatch features. On the whole, it’s a winner.
Wareable verdict: Garmin Vivomove HR
Best hybrid smartwatch for design
The best design is timeless. Skagen has sported the best designed hybrids for years now with its Connected collection. There are a couple versions, from the Jorn for men and Hald for women, to the subdial rocking Hagen to the Mini Hald.
The newest version is the Skagen Holst, which brings some minor adjustments to the design. For one, the buttons on the side are a little more pronounced. It also features a progress indicator on the watch face, making it a little better of a fitness companion.
It comes in two colorways, there’s a blue face with a brown leather band and a mesh band with a greyish face. Like other Skagen Connected watches, you’re getting 3 ATM water resistance and 22mm straps. There’s activity and sleep tracking, but it’s pretty basic.
You can pair any of these Connected watches with 22mm straps, and they all sport the same titanium cases and minimalistic design. It’ll barely feel like you’re wearing a smartwatch, and you’ll get the benefit of sporting a wonderful watch on your wrist.
Wareable verdict: Skagen Connected review
Best hybrid smartwatch for notifications
If you’ve got a bit more money to play around with, Kronaby’s collection of hybrid smartwatches is well worth checking out.
There are models for men and women, with high grade materials adding that touch of luxury. You can swap out the wristbands, too. In terms of smarts, it keeps it basic on the fitness front with just step tracking, but you do get vibrating buzzes that vary in strength to indicate different notifications and the ability to assign physical watch buttons to control features like music playback and remotely take smartphone pictures.
There’s also a nice personal safety feature that lets you send out a details of your current location to an assigned contact with the press of a button. New IFTTT support means it can take control of smart home kit too. Kronaby has also introduced contactless payment straps powered by bPay so you can make a quick purchase if you don’t have an cash handy.
It packs decent smartwatch features into a sleek, stylish body and while there’s still room for improvement, it’s one of our current hybrid faves.
Wareable verdict: Kronaby review
Best hybrid smartwatch for fitness tracking
Withings Steel HR Sport
In 2018 Nokia sold its digital health business back to the co-founder of Withings. The Steel HR Sport was the first new device to come out under the new order, a hybrid smartwatch not dissimilar to the Nokia Steel HR.
But this time, Withings has added connected GPS and VO2 Max tracking on top of the features users got in the Steel HR, making for a more sporty experience – hence the name.
But while this is unmistakably a Withings watch, there are some differences. For one the Steel HR Sport only comes in one 40mm size with a matte black metal case, the only option being between a white or black watch face and your choice of band.
Once again there’s a digital screen on the face to view data including activity tracking and smartphone notifications. There’s also a heart rate monitor on board to continuously monitor your heart rate through the day as well as during workouts.
You can expect 25 days of battery life with normal use, and another 20 in power reserve mode.
Wareable verdict: Withings Steel HR Sport review
Best hybrid smartwatch for iPhones
Fossil Q Neely
So there’s a whole bunch of Fossil hybrids you can pick from, but we’ve found that the experience is better when paired with iPhones, as opposed to Android smartphones.
The Neely is one from the collection that we really enjoyed using alongside Apple’s smartphone – and it’s a looker, too. The 36mm watch is classy, light and fairly slim at 12mm thick.
Activity tracking is kept to a minimum – counting steps and nothing more. You can’t read notifications on it, but a little blue LED and vibrating buzz will let you know someone is trying to get in touch for third party apps, including Instagram and WhatsApp.
The three physical buttons on the side of the watch also offer additional smarts, such as letting you control music playback or take a smartphone selfie, as well as more standard functions, like showing the date, showing a second time zone, starting the stopwatch or ringing your phone.
It’s big on style and the smarts are discreet, so if you like that combo, then this could be the hybrid for you.
Wareable verdict: Fossil Q Neely review
Best hybrid smartwatch for simplicity
Misfit’s first hybrid smartwatch, the Misfit Phase, was a strong debut, delivering a handful of smarts without a single sub-eye. It does make interpreting some notifications a little tricky, mind, but there’s no denying the Phase is a real looker.
Along with a revamped design the Command will track your steps and sleep using Misfit’s activity tech, while the hands will move to signal a new notification, as well as the shifting colour wheel that can be seen through a small window at the six o’clock mark. You can also unlock swim tracking to count your laps in the pool through an additional in-app purchase. All of the smarts are hidden under the surface, giving the Command the feel of a classic, understated watch.
We’d like it to do a bit more in the smarts department, but if you want something that’s simple, tracks your activity, and looks good, this is a strong choice.
Wareable verdict: Misfit Command review
Best hybrid smartwatch if money is absolutely no object
Frederique Constant Hybrid Manufacture
If you’ve got money to burn and want a hybrid that oozes luxury, this Hybrid Manufacture is the one you need in your life.
The Swiss watchmakers latest hybrid is the first to fuse tech with a mechanical manufacture-made movement and comes in four 42mm styles including a rose gold model that pushes the price up to $3,795.
On the smart features front, it offers step tracking, sleep tracking and a second time zone. The Manufacture goes a little further with its coaching from the companion smartphone app giving you health tips based on your stats, advising you, perhaps, that too much activity in the evening is having a negative impact on your sleep.
It might not be jam packed with connected features, but with all the hallmarks of the watchmaker’s fine craftmanship on show, it’s going to appeal to loves of classic watch design who aren’t ready to go full smartwatch just yet.
Wareable verdict: Frederique Constant Hybrid Manufacture review
Withings Move/Move ECG
Withings has made its name in hybrids, and its latest two hybrids are coming in with some unique features. While they’re both branded the same, they have different goals.
The Move ECG is the first hybrid with a built-in electrocardiogram. All you have to do is put two fingers on the bezel and you’re on your way to getting an ECG reading. The Move, on the other hand, is aimed toward customizability. You’ll be able to choose your watch face, strap and casing – and Withings will put your combination together and ship it off to you.
Both Moves offer water resistance up to 50 meters, automatic workout tracking for running, cycling, and swimming, elevation tracking, and connected GPS. You’ll also get a year of battery life from the replaceable battery.
The Move ECG is slated to come out in the first half of 2019 for $129.95. Withings seems to be waiting for FDA clearance on the ECG reader before it officially releases it. The Move, on the other hand, is available for pre-order now at $69.95 on Withings’ website.